Horses race across mounds,
Treading deep snow ...
here, aside God's temple
. . . . . . . . . .
Suddenly a blizzard around;
Snow knocks tufts;
black Vrana, whistling wing,
Sweeps over the sledge;
Prophetic groan reads sadness!
Keenly looking into the dark distance,
They shall smoke mane ...
In the end 1811 of the year, in the era of our memorable *, He lived on his estate Nenaradovo kind Gavril Gavrilovich R. **. He was famous throughout the district for his hospitality and cordiality; Neighbors constantly drove him to eat, drink, play five cents in Boston with his wife, Praskovey Petrovna, and some to, to look at their daughter, Maru Gavrilovna, shapely, pale and seventeen year old girl. She was considered a good match, and many predicted it for themselves or for their sons.
Marya Gavrilovna was brought up on French novels and, consequently, I was in love. Thing, her choice, It was a poor army lieutenant, staying on leave in his village. Needless to say on their own, that the young man burned with equal passion, and that the parents of his beloved, observing their mutual inclination, They forbade their daughter to think of him, and received him worse, than the district court assessor.
Our lovers kept up a correspondence, and they saw each other alone in the pinewood or by the old chapel. There they swore to each other eternal love, They complained of their fate and made various plans. Corresponding and conversing thus, they (which is quite natural) We reached the following conclusion: if we can not breathe without each other, and the will of cruel parents prevents our happiness, could not we do without it? of course, that this fortunate idea occurred first to the young man, and strongly appealed to Marya Gavrilovna's romantic imagination.
Winter came and stopped them goodbye; but their correspondence became more vivid. Vladimir Nikolaevich in every letter implored her to him, marry secretly, hiding for a time, then throw themselves at the feet of the parents, which of course finally be touched by the heroic constancy and unhappiness of the lovers, and they will certainly say: Children! come to our arms!.
Maria Gavrilovna hesitated for a long time; many plans of elopement were rejected. Finally she agreed to: on the appointed day she was to have no supper and retire to her room under the pretext of a headache. Her maid was in the plot; both of them had to go out into the garden through the back porch, garden to find ready-made sleds, sit in it and drive five miles from the village Nenaradovo Zhadrino, straight to the church, where Vladimir would be waiting for them.
On the eve of the decisive day Marya Gavrilovna did not sleep all night; she packed, He linked the linen and clothes, I wrote a long letter to a sensitive young lady, her friend, another to her parents. She said goodbye to them in the most touching terms, He excused his offense an irresistible power of passion and ends the, that blissful moments of life that she pochtet, when it is allowed to throw himself at the feet of her parents' dearest. Having sealed both letters with a Tula Signet, on which were depicted two flaming hearts and an appropriate inscription, she threw herself on her bed just before daybreak and dozed off; but terrible dreams constantly awakened her. It seemed to her, that very moment, as she was getting into the sledge, to go to get married, her father stopped her, with painful rapidity dragged her through the snow and threw it in the dark, bottomless dungeon ... and she flew headlong, her heart fluttering; then she saw Vladimir, lying on the grass, pale, bloody. is he, umiraya, begged her shrill voice to hurry to marry him ... other ugly, senseless visions flitted before her one after the other. Finally she got up, paler than usual and with a genuine headache. Her father and mother noticed her uneasiness; their tender solicitude and constant questions: that is with thee, Masha? Are not you sick, Masha? - torn her heart. She tried to reassure them, kazatsya fun, and could not. Evening came. Think, that in the last time, she accompanies the midst of her family, Feel free to her heart. She was just alive; she was secretly taking leave of every person, all objects, it is surrounded by. served dinner; her heart was pounding. A trembling voice she declared, that she does not want to have dinner, and I began to say goodbye to my father and mother. They kissed her and, as per usual, blessed: she almost cried. And when he came to my room, She threw herself into a chair and burst into tears. She pleaded with her to calm down and cheer up. Everything was ready. In half an hour Masha had to leave her parents' house forever, your room, her peaceful girlhood ... In the yard was a blizzard; the wind was howling, the shutters shook and clattered; everything seemed to her a threat and a mournful omen. Soon all was quiet in the house and went to sleep. Masha wrapped a shawl, I put on a warm hood, She took her casket, and came out on the back porch. The maid carried two host her. They went down into the garden. The snowstorm did not abate; the wind blew against, like trying to stop the young criminal. They could hardly have reached the end of the garden. On the road the sledge was waiting for them. Horses, prozyabnuv, not standing still; Vladimir's coachman paced in front of the shafts, holding zealous. He helped the young lady and her maid to sit down and put bundles and the casket, He took the reins, and the horses flew. Entrusted the young lady to the care of fate and of the coachman Tereshka, let us turn to our young lover.
All day Vladimir was on the road. In the morning he was with the priest zhadrinskogo; difficulty with it uhovorylsya; then he went to look for witnesses among the neighboring landowners. The first, to whom he was, retired cornet forty Dravin, I agreed willingly. This adventure, he assured, It reminded him of the old days and the hussars' frolics. He persuaded Vladimir to stay to dinner and assured him, that two other witnesses will not be found. Indeed, immediately after dinner appeared the surveyor Schmidt, a mustache and spurs, and the son-captain, a boy of sixteen, recently received by the Lancers. They not only accepted Vladimir's offer, but even vowed that they were ready to sacrifice life for him. He embraced them enthusiastically and went home to get ready.
It has long dusk. He sent his trusted Tereshka in Nenaradovo with his troika with detailed, obstoyatelnыm order of, but for themselves I ordered a small sledge with one horse, and one without the driver went to Zhadrino, where two hours later had to come and Marya Gavrilovna. The road was familiar to him, and drive twenty minutes.
But no sooner had Vladimir left the village behind in the box, as the wind rose and such a snowstorm, that he did not vzvidel. In one minute the road Newbie; around disappeared in a thick yellowish haze, through which white flakes of snow were flying; sky merged with the earth. Vladimir found himself in the field, and vainly tried to regain the road; horse moved at random, every minute is entering the snowdrift, now it is sinking into a pit; sledge constantly turned over; Vladimir endeavored not only to lose his bearings. But it seemed to him, that has been more than half an hour, and he had not yet reached the grove Zhadrinskoy. It took about ten minutes; Grove it was not to be seen. Vladimir was driving field, intersected by deep ravines. The snowstorm did not abate, the sky is not cleared. The horse began to tire, and with him was bathed in perspiration, despite, every minute he sank waist-deep in snow.
Finally he saw, that he was going in the wrong direction. Vladimir stopped: I started thinking, pripominaty, savvy, and I am confident, that was to take him to the right. He went to the right. His horse was scarcely able to walk. For over an hour he was on the road. Zhadrino had to be close. But he went, riding, and the field was not the end. All but snowdrifts and ravines; the sledge turned over, every minute he would raise them. As time went; Vladimir began to worry much.
Finally aside something began to blacken. Vladimir turned in that direction. approaching, he saw a grove. Thank God, he thought, Now close. He drove alongside the copse, I am hoping to immediately get on the familiar road or drive round the copse: Zhadrino was immediately behind her. He soon found the road and drove into the darkness under the trees, bare winter. The wind could not rage here; the road was smooth; the horse rallied, and Vladimir regained his composure.
But he went, riding, but it was not to be seen Zhadrino; Grove was not the end. Vladimir saw with horror, he drove into an unfamiliar forest. Despair overcame him. He struck the horse; the poor animal had gone trotting, but soon began to flag, and quarter of an hour gone a step, in spite of all the endeavors of poor Vladimir.
Gradually the trees began to thin out, Vladimir left the forest; Zhadrino was not to be seen. It must have been about midnight. Tears streamed from his eyes; he drove on at random. Weather utyhla, the clouds parted, before him lay a plain, covered with a white undulating carpet. The night was fairly clear. He saw far away a hamlet, consisting of four or five yards. Vladimir went to her. At the first cottage he jumped out of the sledge, I ran to the window and began to knock. After a few minutes the wooden shutter was lifted, and an old man thrust out his gray beard. "What do you want?"-" How far is it Zhadrino?"-" Zhadrino something far it?" - "Yes, Yes! Far li?»-« Not far; a dozen miles is ". At this answer Vladimir grasped his hair and remained immovable, As a person, sentenced to death.
"And you spalling?"- said the old man. Vladimir had not the courage to answer the questions. "Can you, old man, - he said, - get me horses to Zhadrino?"-" Kaki in our horse ", - I answered the peasant. "Yes, I can not take even if the conductor? I'll pay, as he likes to be ". - "Wait, - said the old man, lowering the shutter, - I'll send those son; he'll go ". Vladimir waited. Less than a minute, he again began to knock. The shutter was raised, beard seemed. "What do you want?"-" What is your son?"-" Who will come out, shoe. Ali you vegetating? Come up to bask ". - "Thank, send your son more ».
The gate creaked; the guy came out with a cudgel and went ahead, is pointing, is looking for the road, standing to snow drifts. "What time is it now?"- asked Vladimir. "It will soon be rassvenet", - replied the young man. Vladimir not to mention a word.
Roosters sang and it was already light, they reached Zhadrino. The church was locked. Vladimir paid his guide and drove to the priest. In the courtyard trio he was not. What news awaited him!
But return to the good landowners and see nenaradovskim, something they have done.
Old couple woke up and came out into the living room. Gavrila Gavrilovich in a nightcap and a flannel jacket, Praskovyya Petrovna in shlaforke of vate. away samovar, and Gavrila Gavrilovich sent the little girl to inquire how Marya Gavrilovna, what is it and how she had slept. The girl came back, declaring, that young lady slept badly de, but that it is now easier to de-and that it is now de come into the living room. Indeed, the door opened, and Marya Gavrilovna came in to greet papa and mama.
"How is your head, Masha?"- sprosil Gavrila Gavrilovič. "It is better, papa ", - Masha answered. "You're right, Masha, yesterday mad ", - said Praskovya Petrovna. "May be, mamenka ", - Masha answered.
The day passed safely, but in the night Masha was taken ill. You have the city for doctors. He arrived in the evening and found the patient delirious. Opened high fever, and the poor girl two weeks was at the edge of the coffin.
Nobody in the house knew about the proposed elopement. writing, written on the eve of her, They were burned; her maid to anyone about anything not say, fearing the wrath of the LORD. a priest, retired cornet, usasty surveyor, and the little Uhlan were discreet, and not surprisingly,. Tereshka coachman never anything superfluous did not express, even when he was drunk. Thus secret was kept more than half a dozen plotters. But Marya Gavrilovna herself in constant delirium, gave away her secret. Her words, however, were so incoherent with anything, that the mother, not left her bedside, could only understand from them that, that her daughter was desperately in love with Vladimir Nikolaevich and that, probably, love was the cause of her illness. She consulted with her husband, with some neighbors, and last all unanimously agreed, that evidently such was the fate of Maria Gavrilovna, that the restriction of the horse not obedesh, that poverty is not a vice, to live not with the wealth, but a man, etc. Moral proverbs are wonderfully useful in cases, when we are away from you a little that we can invent yourself as an excuse.
Meanwhile the young lady began to recover. Vladimir have not seen in the house of Gavrila Gavrilovich. He was scared usual reception. To send for him and announce to him unexpected good fortune: consent to marriage. But what was the amazement nenaradovskih landlords, when in reply to their invitation they received a half-crazy letter from him! He declared, that his foot will never be in their house, and I begged them to forget about the accident, for whom death is still one hope. A few days later they heard, Vladimir left the army. It was in 1812 year.
Long did not dare to announce this to the recovering Masha. She never mentioned Vladimir. A few months later, having found his name among the distinguished and severely wounded at Borodino, she fainted, and feared, her to the fever did not return. but, thank God, fainting fit had no consequences.
Another visited her sadness: Gavril Gavrilovich died, leaving her his sole heiress. But wealth was no comfort her; she sincerely bitterness Praskovya Petrovny, I vowed never to part with it; They both left Nenaradovo, place of sad memories, and went to live on the estate *** skoe.
Too suitors circled round the charming and wealthy around the bride; but she gave not the slightest hope. Her mother sometimes urged her to select a partner; Maria Gavrilovna shook her head and wondered. Vladimir no longer existed: He died in Moscow, before the introduction of the French. His memory seemed sacred to Masha; at least, she treasured all, what could he recall; books, he had once read, his drawings, music and poetry, he had copied out for her. Neighbors, learn all, We marveled at her constancy and waited with curiosity for the hero, bound at last triumph over the sad fidelity of this virgin Artemisia *.
Meanwhile the war with the glorious end. Our regiments were returning from abroad. People ran to meet them. The music was conquered songs: Vive Henri-Quatre * #, Tyrolese waltzes, and arias from Zhokonda *. officers, gone hiking near of boys, returned, heel on the brane air, hung with crosses. Soldiers gaily talked together, constantly mixing it in German and French words. An unforgettable time! glory time and delight! How the Russian heart throbbed at the word fatherland! How sweet were the tears of goodbye! How unanimously we combined the feelings of national pride and love for the Tsar! And for him, what a moment!
Women, Russian women were then superb. Their usual coldness disappeared. Their enthusiasm was truly ravishing, when, meeting the winners, they cried: Hooray!
And threw up their bonnets into the air *.
Who of the then officers would not confess, that Russian women are obliged to, he was better, most precious reward?..
In that brilliant time Marya Gavrilovna was living with her mother in *** province and not seen, both capitals celebrated the return of the troops. But in country towns and villages the general enthusiasm, может быть, It was even stronger. The appearance in these places the officer was for him a genuine triumph, and a lover in a frock coat was bad in his neighborhood.
We have already said, what, despite her coldness, Maria Gavrilovna everything is still surrounded by suitors. But all had to retreat, when there appeared in her castle a wounded colonel of the hussars Burmin, with George in his buttonhole and with an interesting pallor, We said to the local young ladies. He was about twenty-six years. He came on leave to his estates, situated next to the village of Maria Gavrilovna. Maria Gavrilovna him very distinguished. When it revived its ordinary thoughtfulness. It was impossible to tell, that she flirted with him; but the poet, observing her behavior, would say:
If love is not, So that?..
Burmin was, Indeed, a very nice young man. He had just the mind, who like women: decorous, observant, without any pretensions and gaily ironical. his behavior with Marya
Gavrilovna was simple and free; but whatever she said or did, soul and eyes it as her and followed. He seemed quiet and modest disposition, but rumor had, that was once a terrible scapegrace, and it did not harm him in the estimation of Marya Gavrilovna, which (like all young ladies in general) with pleasure pardoned escapades, revealing courage and ardor of character.
But most of all ... (more than his tenderness, a pleasant conversation, more interesting pallor, a bandaged hand) the reticence of young hussar more than anything stirred her curiosity and imagination. She could not help but admit that, she liked him very much; probably, and he, with his intelligence and development, I may have noticed, that she singled him out: how I am still not seen him at her feet, and have not heard his declaration? That kept him? timidity, inseparable from the truth in love,, pride or the coquetry of a cunning ladies'? It was a mystery to her. thinking carefully, she decided, that timidity was the only cause of the fact, and encourage him to put more attention, and, according to circumstances, even tenderness. She was preparing a most unexpected denouement, and was impatiently waiting for the moment of romantic explanation. secret, any kind nor would, always irksome to a woman's heart. Its military action had the desired effect: at least, Burmin grew so pensive and black eyes with such fire at Marya Gavrilovna, that the decisive moment, it seemed, It is close. The neighbors talked of the wedding, as had been settled, and good Praskovya Petrovna rejoiced, that her daughter had at last found a worthy fiance.
The old lady was sitting one day in the living room, laying granpasyans, when Burmin entered the room and at once inquired about Marya Gavrilovna. "She's in the garden, - the old lady answered; - go to her, and I expect you to be here ". Burmin went, and the old lady crossed herself and thought: maybe the same thing will end today!
Burmin found Marya Gavrilovna by the pond, under the willow, with a book in her hands and in a white dress, the heroine of the novel. After the first questions Marya Gavrilovna deliberately ceased to keep talking, thereby enhancing the mutual confusion, from which it was possible to get rid of unless a sudden and decisive explanation. And so it happened: Burma, feeling the awkwardness of his situation, announced, that had long been seeking an opportunity to open his heart to her, and demanded a minute's attention. Maria Gavrilovna closed the book and lowered her eyes as a sign of consent.
"I love you, - said Burmin, - I love you passionately ... " (Marya Gavrilovna blushed and bent her head still lower.) "I acted imprudently, indulging in the delightful habit, the habit of seeing and hearing you every day ... " (Marya Gavrilovna recalled the first letter of St.-Preux * #.) "Now it is too late to struggle against fate; remembrance of you, your cute, incomparable image will be torment and delight of my life; but I still have to perform heavy duty, reveal a terrible secret, and put an insurmountable barrier between us ... "-" It has always existed, - interrupted Maria Gavrilovna with animation, - I could never be your wife ... "-" I know, - he answered quietly, - I know, that once you loved, but death and three years of mourning ... Good, dear Marya Gavrilovna! do not try to deprive me of my last consolation: think, that you would consent to make me happy, if silent ..., love of God, silent. You torture me. Yes, I know, I feel, that you would have been mine, but - I am the unhappiest creature ... I am married!»
Marya Gavrilovna looked at him in surprise.
- IM married, - continued Burmin, - I've been married for four years and did not know, who is my wife, and where it, and whether svidetsya with her ever!
- What are you saying? - exclaimed Maria Gavrilovna, - how strange! go ahead; I'll tell you afterwards ... but go on, beg.
- Initially 1812 of the year, - said Burmin, - I was hurrying to Vilna, where our regiment was. Once coming into the station late at night, I had just ordered that horses, when suddenly a snowstorm blew up, and the superintendent and the drivers advised me to wait. I obeyed, but unaccountable anxiety possessed me; it seemed, someone pushed me and. Meanwhile the snowstorm was not abating; I could not resist, I gave word to harness and went into the storm. Coachman occurred to go to the river, that was the way for us to reduce by three versts.
The shores were entered; the driver drove past the place, which went on the road, and so we found ourselves in an unfamiliar part of. The storm did not abate; I saw the light and told to go there. We came to a village; in the wooden church there was fire. The church was open, behind the fence stood several sledges; on the porch of the people we were walking. "Here! here!"- cried a few voices. I told to the driver to drive. "Have mercy, where you hesitated? - he told me someone, - bride fainted; priest does not know, what to do; we were ready to go back. Come as soon as ". Without a word I jumped out of the sledge and went into the church, dimly lit by two or three candles. The girl was sitting on a bench in a dark corner of the church; another was rubbing her temples. "Thank God, - said this, - violence you come. Hardly had the young lady you are not starved ". The old priest came up to me with a question: «Show begin?"-" Begin, start, father ", - I replied absently. Woman raised. She seemed to me rather pretty ... Incomprehensible, unforgivable folly ... I stood beside her before the lectern; the priest was in a hurry; three men and maidservant supported the bride and only occupied it were. Nas obvenčali. "The Kiss", - told us. My wife turned to me, his face pale,. I wanted to kiss her ... She cried: "Month, not he! not he!"- and fainted. The witnesses turned their frightened eyes on me. I turned, He came out of the church unhindered, I rushed into the tent and cried: "Go!»
- Oh my God! - cried Marya Gavrilovna, - and you do not know, What is done with poor your wife?
- I do not know, - posted Burmin, - I do not know, as the name of the village, where I was married; I do not remember, which I went to the station. At that time I attached so little importance to my criminal prank, what, left the church, I fell asleep and woke up the next morning, It had reached the third station. Servant, who was with me, He died during the campaign, so that I have no hope of tracing the, on which I made a joke so cruelly, and who is now so cruelly avenged.
- Oh my God, Oh my God! - said Marya Gavrilovna, grasping his hand; - so it was you! And you do not know me?
Burmin pale ... and threw himself at her feet ...